Your kitchen is the heart of your home.
It’s where you prepare hearty dishes for your family, spend time together, share memories, and even entertain guests.
It can also be surprisingly dangerous.
Equipped with hot exposed surfaces, sharp knives, sizzling grease on pans, and pots of boiling water, it can easily become hazardous and dangerous. This explains the serious injuries thousands of Americans sustain in the kitchen.
What’s more, failing to safeguard your kitchen and the rest of your house leaves it vulnerable to thieves.
Whether you’re a veteran chef, an upcoming Martha Stewart, or just love cooking for your family, you have all the reasons to safeguard your kitchen from hazards and intruders.
Here’re tips to help you avoid injuries in the kitchen and make it burglar-proof:
12 Tips to a Safe and Hazard-Free Kitchen
1) Clean it up fast
With toddlers and teenagers around your kitchen, nagging about their meals, you can easily make spills in the kitchen.
Although spills are inevitable in the kitchen, make it a habit to clean them up as they occur to prevent accidents.
Even a drop of food or water can easily create a slipping hazard. This is truer about oil and grease from cooking sprays.
2) Install and test your smoke detector
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, most homeowners are unaware that failing to install smoke detectors doubles their homes’ risk to fires.
The kitchen is the major cause of house fires.
Statistics indicate that over 150,000 fires from cooking equipment occur every year. With high risk of fires, early detection can help your household survive a house fire.
Install smoke detectors in your home and make sure you test them four times in a year for functionality. Moreover, they usually come as part of a larger security system further boosts the safety of your entire home.
3) Add a fire extinguisher to your kitchen
You’ll be surprised to know that a fire extinguisher is the most important gadget in your home.
Accidents usually occur unexpectedly. Although nobody wishes or plans for a fire, having a fire extinguisher within reach can save you a great loss.
Make sure you know how to use it and keep it where you can easily access it in case of a fire.
4) Understand fires to put them out
Fires thrive on oxygen. This means a pot cover or wet rag can easily smother it.
In case of grease fires, there’s need for special handling. Salt, baking soda or a pan cover can easily put out grease fires.
Unplug sockets in case of appliance fires such as microwave fires. Never use water to put out fires. Instead, use baking soda or a fire extinguisher.
As soon as a fire breaks out, call 911. Before the professionals arrive, do whatever you can to put out the fire before it spreads.
If you’re in doubt or don’t know what to do, evacuate your house immediately.
5) Be cautious with clothes and related accessories
Clothes and accessories are a cooking hazard.
Long hair and sleeves can catch fire, bracelets get caught on pot handles, and belt loops easily tug pan handles off stove tops.
Dress appropriately when cooking and make sure pan and pot handles are turned in at all times to keep them away from your children’s reach.
6) Keep the kitchen out of bounds for pets and kids
Cooking with your kids in the kitchen can be fun.
Be cautious when having kids in the kitchen. Let them respect your cooking space to avoid injuries. Don’t leave your kids and pets unattended when your oven or stove is in use.
Even after turning off your stove and other cooking appliances, they’ll take time to cool down. Therefore, let your kids stay away to prevent burns.
The kitchen is out of bounds for all kinds of play. Keep toys off your kitchen floor to prevent tripping hazards. No pets are allowed to lounge on your kitchen floor.
Make your kitchen a no-go zone for your kids and pets.
However, you can still learn how to safely involve your kids in the kitchen if you want them to help out.
7) Be wary of steam
Over 100,000 Americans, according to BurnInjuryOnline.com, are treated for scald burns in emergency rooms every year.
Potential risks for scald burns include:
- Hot water on-demand faucets
- Boiling water
- Hot beverages
A steam burn is usually serious and can be worse than burns from boiling water. Some ways steam presents danger in the kitchen include:
- Opening ‘steamable” packets
- Pulling plastic off wrapped food items from the oven
- Lifting lid off a boiling pot of food or water
Be cautious with boiling water as well as steam. And, teach your kids about these dangers and potential hazards.
8) Sanitize your kitchen surfaces
The kitchen harbors more bacteria than other rooms in the house.
Clean your kitchen surfaces with a solution of bleach and water as often as possible to kill germs. Use a 1:1 ratio to mix the solution or use pre-mixed kitchen sanitizer sprays.
Some items to sanitize include:
- Cutting boards – clean after each use
- Dishrags and sponges – zap them in the microwave for a couple of minutes or stash in hot water daily. Change the rags often.
9) Invest in identity theft protection
In the modern age of technology, personal security is just as important as home security. If you use the internet, including social media and other platforms, you need to protect your identity online.
Identity theft protection solutions such as LifeLock are highly recommended for protection and restoration of your identity. The solutions also include plans for the entire family.
To make your kitchen and home burglar-proof, do the following:
10) Burglar proof your front door
11) Reinforce sliding glass doors and windows for added security
12) Install security lights
We hope you’ll find these tips handy in making your kitchen hazard-free and burglar-proof.
Naturally, people eat to improve their physical health. Little attention is given to foods that specifically enhance your feelings, thoughts, and mood- emotional health.
There is no scientific evidence of foods that reduce brain activity, but vice versa is documented by researchers.
Just as you take care of your physical well being, equally, you need to work on your emotional health, for they go hand in hand with overall health.
How do you know you have good emotional health?
- When you successfully process and deal with any negative emotions that upset you
- The moment you have high curiosity levels with positive reactions to it
- Can exercise self-judgment, compassion and self-love for personality evaluation
- If you can sail through a storm- financial or emotional-without including emotions in judgment
Handling your emotions involve a collective responsibility in behavior and the foods that you eat. There is a thin line between emotional health and mental health.
Once you take foods that enhance brain activity as well as improve your psychological feeling, then you are on the right road to proper mental and emotional health.
Some of the foods include fruits and vegetables, which are better taken when raw to ensure you get maximum nutrients. In case you opt to cook them, take care of the mode of preparation.
You need to wash the vegetables whether you cook or just eat them as they are. Some go a notch higher than others by washing them with warm or hot water.
It’s advisable to invest in tankless water heaters to save on electricity and to hasten the process. If you lack an idea of what’s best, then look at the following heater on the market.
Which are these foods and their specific nutrients?
- Nuts and seafood
Nuts and seafood contain Omega 3 renowned for proper brain functioning according to a study by the British Psychiatry department. The healthy fat in these foods helps to hasten brain development even in adults to fight anxiety and depression.
Once the brain has full control of emotions, positive and negative feelings, then you are confident to say you have reasonable emotion control—a clear explanation of proper emotional health.
- Vegetable oils and fat
Health experts warn people to avoid fats, but they are never specific on the specific fat to avoid in excess. Plant oils like in Avocado have Oleic acid– a fatty component –which supports proper brain functioning, giving you the power to have control of your cognitive function.
As mentioned earlier, your emotional health begins from the brain. Once it’s working at optimum levels, then you are sure you are in good emotional health too. They are also found in dairy products, sunflower seeds, olives, eggs, among others.
- Green leafy vegetables
The color of the food is not just for aesthetic value but has a specific function in terms of nutrients and macronutrients when it comes to cell operations in the body. In specific to emotional health, these food types help in the oxidation process, which enhances metabolism and reduction of body inflammation.
The ripple effect of this is the production of hormones responsible for happiness. As long as you are happy, then you have control of everything that goes around you. Have you seen people who overreact to even small situations?
There is a possibility there are not in good mental health. Either they are using drugs or foods that suppress these hormones.
The two benefits of mushrooms to mental health include first its ability to lower the blood sugar level. High blood sugar increases the level of anxiety- poor mental health. Secondly, mushroom works directly on the central nervous system to bring a calming effect, thus changing the thought patterns to a positive angle.
Apart from that, it brings about a sharp mental focus, attention, and general brain acuity. This is part of the body that controls all your feelings and thoughts. Once it in a state of stable health –healthy mind-then, you are sure of a more focused and reasonable individual.
- Fruits and vegetables
When looking for a weight loss diet, fruits and vegetables never miss on the list. The weight is also responsible for boosting your self-esteem and confidence level, a personal attribute most people strive to achieve.
Fruits have a variety of nutrients and macronutrients responsible for different brain functions. It decreases the risk of developing stress, anxiety, and depression. Once all these are kept at bay, then you can say you are in a state of mental stability –“sane.”
Fruits contain various vitamin types that help in the repair of worn-out tissues. The improvement in immune response means hastens the healing process of minor ailments and inflammation.
This is one way of improving your thoughts, feelings, and mood. Are you happy when faced with an ailment?
The food type help increases your appetite compromised by the ailments and further fastens the healing process. Within no time, you are in good physical and emotional health.
As much as we advocate for food as a natural remedy to treat brain malfunctioning, they shouldn’t replace conventional medicine when dealing with a brain disorder. They only work when all other body functions work at optimum levels. If not, stick to the prescribed medicine and use the foods as a way of enhancing your health in general.
Its evident food plays a significant role in the state of your psychological and physical health. Anything you do whether work-related or just activities that involve decision making, your state of emotional health plays a significant role.
Take good care of it by whichever means possible; the results are evident even in your behavioral and lifestyle patterns.
Diets help with weight loss.
Ranging in some type of diet focuses on calories, fat, or carbs restriction, while others reduce appetite to help you cut weight.
However, every diet claims to be superior, making it difficult to choose what’s best for your unique needs for weight loss.
No two diets are the same, even if they both focus on reducing appetite or restricting calories. This means that no single diet can work for two people with the same needs.
A diet that works for your weight loss needs may not work for others.
Over half of all Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), try to lose weight every year.
Change your diet to lose weight.
With hundreds of diet plans on the market, choosing the best weight loss diet tailored to your unique needs isn’t easy. It’s difficult to choose the most sustainable, suitable, and effective diet for you.
Diets that focus on lowering your appetite reduce the amount of food you consume to cut weight. On the other hand, some diets restrict your calories, fat, or carbs intake to support weight loss.
Apart from weight loss, various diets have the following benefits:
- Lowers the risk of developing cancer
- Prevents stroke and improves hearth
- Manages diabetes and better gut health
- Secures the health of the next generation
- Fosters the development and strong teeth and bones
- Improved memory and mood
- Better sleep
Top 4 Popular Weight Loss Diets for You
- The HCG diet
For fast weight loss, the HCG diet can help you lose up to 2 pounds or 0.45kg each day.
The diet improves metabolism and supports the loss of excess fats. It doesn’t make you hungry.
The human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone is high at the onset of pregnancy. It’s responsible for telling your body that you’re pregnant. It maintains the production of important hormones that drive the development of the fetus and treats infertility.
The HCG diet is made up of three phases. The first involves taking HCG supplements while the second an ultra-low-calorie diet of just 500 calories daily taken with HCG supplement pellets, drops, sprays, or injections. This is the phase where you lose weight and takes about 3 to 6 weeks.
In the third phase, HCG intake is stopped, and food slowly reintroduced.
Although the diet causes weight loss, studies have attributed that to the ultra-low-calories diet.
The HCG hormone doesn’t reduce hunger.
- The Ketogenic diet
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet. Its popularity in the health and fitness community points to its range of benefits. The diet increases energy, promotes weight loss, and enhances cognitive function and longevity.
Based on keto supplements, the diet reduces your appetite to promote weight loss. It also improves your athletic performance and alacrity.
- The Atkins diet
Eliminate carbs from your diet. The Atkins diet is a popular low-carb diet for weight loss. It allows you to consume as much fat and protein as you want.
The low-carb diet lowers your appetite for food, explaining its efficacy. As a result, you eat fewer calories without putting so much thought into it.
The diet is divided into four phases, the first being an induction phase. It involves consuming less than 20 grams of carbohydrates daily for up to a couple of weeks.
The phases that follow slowly reintroduce healthy carbohydrates into your diet. This occurs as you’re about to attain your weight loss goals.
- The Paleo diet
Based on the foods that your ancestors who gathered and hunted food ate, the Paleo diet fights diseases linked to the Western diet, including intake of dairy, grains, and processed foods.
Although the foods included in the diet are debatable, whether they’re what your ancestors ate, the diet has great health benefits.
The diet focuses on lean protein, whole foods, fruits, seeds, nuts, veggies, etc. It discourages the consumption of processed foods, dairy, sugar, and grains.
However, some flex versions of the diet include tubers such as sweet potatoes and potatoes and dairies such as butter and cheese.
Various studies have linked the Paleo diet to greatly-reduced waist size and weight loss.
Staying on top of our careers as chefs can be challenging. We get so entwined with the experience that we forget what the clock says. We’re so busy thinking out a million and one ways to captivate the taste buds of many.
Well, it’s part of why we signed up for “chef-hood.” But no one, no matter the career, should be too busy for security and safety. Most times, we receive super-hero treatment for our craftsmanship. I guess that’s deserving considering how delicate our profession is. It’s not an easy feat transforming human moods with our mastery in meals. But there’s more than just cookery and food.
The 21st Century Chef, More than Just a Chef
We’re in a century where technology is changing every professional behavior. Successful professionals are leveraging technology to get ahead. Our industry isn’t exempt from this change. As chefs, we can enjoy the benefits of networking, professional exposure, financial transactions, and career growth via the internet. But the internet can be a wild place. Hence, it’s useful to rethink how to be safe and secure with our possessions while practicing our craft.
In this age, there are severe consequences for loose safety and security practices. We can’t leave trails of our credit card passwords, including professional and personal social media accounts.
The thing is, you’d always need to transact online or enter your pins on several websites. You’ll want to engage your audience on social media with your cooking craft. So, think of what it’ll feel like when, one day, you open you try logging on to your Facebook or Twitter accounts and boom! You discover you’re unable to log on.
Every day, innocent internet users fall prey to identity theft criminals and credit card fraudsters. So I thought about this scenario and imagined how chefs could play safe.
Today, the internet is becoming a propeller of professional success—our profiles on LinkedIn, and other social accounts matter. That’s why we need to be secure ourselves from identity theft. No one is immune to these security attacks. Chefs shouldn’t get just their craft right; they need to adapt to high-level safety and security cultures.
I’m so fascinated by the prospect of discussing this topic with you.
So, for now, pause on discovering cooking hacks as I share tips that can help you recover any compromised financial account, passwords, or hacked social media profiles. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’d be able to improve your security on any of your assets that require an internet connection.
Staying Safe the Chef-style in an Internet Age
As a chef, the safety of your identity marks the essence of your professional career. Everyone trusts you with their stomachs. A loose security culture can damage your professional and financial integrity. A stranger can pretend to be you online and extort your clients. Identity theft can harm your finance and social identity. Most times, identity thieves part ways with hard-earned money because of the trails we’ve left online.
You can be 100% cautious of the information you share online and anywhere. Understand why a website is requesting your credit card details, home address, or social media passwords. A small document left on your table can reveal much. Carry as much cash as you’d need as this would minimize stops at the ATM.
We can avoid anything that might jeopardize our security and identity safety. You can maximize identity protection tools to stay safe in this internet age.
You can install them on your Android and iPhones. An example is Identity Guard, which shuts down phishing websites that try to steal your data. Its anti-phishing tools block out suspicious attempts on your browsers. What other reasons do you need to have an identity protection software installed?
Your browser is your window to the online professional world. It connects you to your official chef social media pages, your LinkedIn profile, your document drive storage. Your credit card passwords are probably auto-saved on them.
Many identity security services like ID Shield do more than just identity protection. They cover issues on credit score tracking, hijacked account recovery, dark web surveillance, private investigation, financial account monitoring, and other security services.
It’s hard trying to recover from a fraud incident or identity theft situation. So think prevention. What you should look out for are tools that can protect your cash and other personal information.
ID Shield offers prevention first. So rather than become a victim, it sends you alerts when someone is trying to access your personal information.
You might be at a gig or job. An IDShield staff would contact you to confirm the breach, just in case an identity theft may have occurred. A recovery unit will work on your case, and you’d get a licensed private investigator. Your investigator would collaborate with government and financial institutions to ensure they reprimand the thief. Finally, you’d recover your stolen identity with the stolen assets. Other identity security solutions include Identity Force and Zander.
Security While Away
Safety and security don’t have to be limited to your phone. You can extend the services to the rest of your family. The likes of LifeLock hold a database of sex offenders. This service also offers family plans and insurance coverage on the loss of items.
If you’re a parent, LifeLock is highly recommended for its extensive fraud and identity recovery services. You can also explore family protection features. So while you’re away at work, you can be sure everything is under control. There are limitations to the kind of content your kids can access over the internet. You’d receive alerts on any attempt to breach your finance or privacy online. If you run your own business as a chef, then there’s more to benefit.
The features are equally useful for running background checks on your staff or potential hire.
To retain our super chef status, we must never leave technology behind. It’s great to master the craft. But we can protect the legacy of our work by making security and safety a priority.
For people who love coffee coined coffee lovers, there is great news. As much as coffee is a very much needed source of energy in the mornings, it has been discovered that this caffeine product can really help in weight loss. Sounds too good to be true right? Well according to a nutritionist, coffee helps in bodybuilding and leads to loss of weight. The real explanation behind coffee reducing weight is the fact that it increases metabolism. Metabolism is a process in which food products are broken down to provide energy to the body. Coffee achieves this via a process of stimulating thermogenesis which helps in breaking down of fats in the body.
Coffee also contains chlorogenic acid (a type of polyphenol) that is able to slow down the process of absorbing carbohydrates and also it helps in the breakdown of fats. Carbohydrates when absorbed can be converted into glycogen fats. This is stored in cells and makes the person appear weight. In this case, when coffee is used it slows down the absorption of carbohydrates meaning only essential amounts are absorbed so there is no excess to be converted into fats.
Despite coffee having these magical properties, don’t go around gobbling jugs of coffee yet. It turns out that our human bodies later develop resistance to these properties of coffee if we overuse it Therefore, it is recommended that we only drink 2 cups of coffee in the morning to achieve the desired results of metabolism reduction properties of coffee. According to a study (Nordestgaard, 2015) conducted on 93,000 subjects, it was observed that coffee reduces the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes and lowers the risk of a person becoming obese. It is important to note that weight reduction in coffee usage is linked only to black coffee.
Black coffee is known to have low amounts of calories and higher levels of antioxidants. The coffee and butter diet which is basically a double espresso that is eventually blended into a thick froth with each a tablespoon of Kerrygold butter in coffee each and coconut oil is the new coffee craze. The new fad whose fans explain that it comprises of several ingredients is said to increase mental focus, reduce body weight and also burns extra calories. It also leaves you full for the whole half of the day. But, nothing comes without a cost. Newbies into this fad have explained instances of nausea and diarrhea.
For black coffee, it is recommended to have at least a cup of coffee for half an hour or an hour before conducting your exercises. This is a great way of boosting how efficient your workout is It is also said that the effects of coffee in our bodies last for around 3 to 4 hours meaning we can space our black coffee during the day much more comfortable. Finally, low calorie soy milk is recommended as an additive to black coffee if you do not proffer the black color of the beneficial black coffee. It also does not jeopardize your weight loss mission at all.
Today I prepared almond milk for the first time. It is very simple and an ideal substitute for cow’s milk. It does not contain cholesterol or lactose, just 40 calories in a glass and has as much calcium as cows. The taste is excellent!
Here is the step by step:
- The bleached almonds (without skin) are soaked in water. The proportion is, for each cup of almond, 4 cups of water. The longer the better, minimum 1 hour, maximum 8
- Crush or blend for about two minutes
- It is squeezed using a gauze cloth. Type those to make cheese
- It is flavored with vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg. It is sweetened with honey or agave.
- With the leftover pulp you can make a kind of “humus”, breads, cookies, etc. It can be used fresh immediately or dehydrated (in the oven at very low temperature)
The Gauls and Romans wore linen tablecloths, sometimes colored. Guests wore their own napkins that were placed near their sofas and used to carry the leftovers from their meals.
The importance of meals in the Judeo-Christian tradition contributed significantly to the development of the tablecloth.
It was in the Middle Ages that tablecloths became more important and were frequently used. They became objects of genuine veneration because they were a mark of nobility of Lords and were only shared with people of the same rank. Most of the tablecloths were decorated with embroidery and fringes. At the same time that simple tablecloths appeared, for example in some taverns, people wiped their hands on a long piece of cloth placed on the edge of the tablecloth.
The fifteenth century saw the emergence of the “touaille”, the ancestor of the napkin. This was a long strip of material more than 13 feet long, folded in two on a rod and glued to the wall like a towel. This was not used frequently.
The napkin as we know it today dates from the sixteenth century but was quite long. It was made of apricot linen and soon became popular.
By this time it was fashionable to fold tablecloths and particularly napkins in the form of birds, animals, and fruits. This tradition lasted more than 200 years.
Until the ninth century, tablecloths and napkins were usually apricots, a material with identical motifs woven in front and back, the name Damascus comes from the city with the same name in Syria. The silk damask was famous, exported from Persia and after Venice for a long time. It was then that the countries of northern Europe, lacking unrefined materials, invented the linen apricot, which was very popular until the early ninth century.
The arrival of cotton revolutionized the damask. Due to the softness of the material its production gradually became industrialized. The tradition of folding napkins gradually disappeared and size declined.
In the twentieth century, the color began to be used at the tables. At first, the tablecloths were pastel colors, to then go to dark and bright colors. The napkins also began to match or contrast with the tablecloths.
After a minimalist period, where the tablecloths and napkins once again became white, colors are again used on the tables.
The chefs, for the most part, wear this uniform almost every day of their lives: a cap, trousers, and a double Filipina. Although these uniforms are similar in the food service industry around the world, little is known about their history. However, the origin and reasons behind the chef’s traditional costume are interesting.
The design of the chef’s uniform almost in its entirety is related to the need. Filipina, for example, is double so that it can be inserted easily and hide the spots that can accumulate throughout the day; The double layer of cotton is also designed to insulate our bodies from the intense heat of the stove or accidental splashes of hot liquid. Even knotted cloth buttons were invented for a reason – cloth supports frequent washing and buttons survive the abuse they often have contact with pots, pans, and other heavy equipment. Although executive chefs often wear black pants, working chefs usually wear pants with black and white squares because they hide the spots better. The necks used today are simply aesthetic,
The traditional chef’s hat, or toque Blanche, is the most distinguished and recognizable of the uniform. It is said that by the sixteenth-century hats were already worn. The artisans of that period (including cooks) were often imprisoned, and in some cases executed because of their free thought.
To avoid persecution, some chefs took refuge in Orthodox churches and were hidden among the priests of the monasteries. There they wore the same clothes as the priests – including their high hats and long suits – except that the chef’s clothes were gray and the priests’ clothing was black.
It was not until the mid-1800’s that chef Marie-Antoine Carême redesigned the uniforms. Carême thought that white was the most appropriate color since it denotes cleaning in the kitchen; Also at this time she and her staff began to use the double Philippines. Carême also thought that the hats should be of various sizes, to distinguish chefs from chefs. The chefs started wearing tall hats and younger chefs wore shorter hats, type cap. Carême herself wore a hat that was 18 inches tall.
The folded pleats of a cap, which later became a feature of the chef’s hat, claim to have been added to indicate more than 100 ways in which a chef can cook an egg.
Escoffier also considered cleaning the chef’s uniform as very important and promoting professionalism. He encouraged his staff to keep uniforms clean and complete at work, and also to wear layers and ties while they were not working. Today many chefs around the world wear the same outfit that 400 years ago. Along with the other inventions in the 50’s were made up paper caps that could be discarded after getting dirty
The chef’s traditional uniform may be the standard for our profession, but it’s definitely not the law. Since the mid-eighties a legion of chef and cooks have begun to wear non-traditional suits, pants cotton and Filipino is increasingly replaced with denim and in some cases are stamped with peppers, flowers and school badges of the kitchen. While some chefs consider this new style as unprofessional, others use it because of the comfort and opportunity to express individuality through their clothes.
Today’s non-traditional uniforms are reminiscent of chef Alexis Soyer, author, inventor and chef of the Reform Club era in London. Soyer was known for having his entire wardrobe, including his work clothes, made by a tailor-made tailor. He wore hats as eccentric as red velvet berets, his Philippines often cut diagonally, with large lapels. He called his individualistic style “à la zoug-zoug” and the more his contemporaries made fun of him, the stranger his clothes were.
As a chef, I adhere to the traditional dress. The uniform and its history are part of our pride. On the other hand, I can also understand a chef’s desire to be expressive. These new uniforms have their place in certain establishments, the restaurants of today. After all, the kitchen is considered a form of theater. Like everything else the chef’s uniform continues to develop, who knows what the future holds in this regard? One thing is certain, however, the image of a cook, in a Filipino and a white cap, is recognized in the world as a professional, and we have our precursors to thank for this.
Free translation of an article originally published in “The National Culinary Review”, by Chef Joe George